There is no place for alternative narrative.” A line Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri was told when the director of the successful and eye-opening The Kashmir Files had, in 2016, tried to screen his Buddha in a Traffic Jam before students at Jadavpur University. Considering the youngsters who spewed this extremely intolerant remark to scare him away from the campus in the southern part of Kolkata hadn’t watched the film he had so passionately made to expose the truth behind the nexus of anti-Indian forces working prodigiously to impede the progress and growth of Bharat, Agnihotri was stumped by the reaction a mere mention of screening of the work garnered. This was not all. In the opening chapter of his incisive and best-selling book, Urban Naxals, the independent filmmaker and author described the extent of humiliation and bodily harm meted out to him for daring to present a narrative that opposed the far Left.
Injured physically, humiliated with abuses like ‘Bloody Fascist Brahmin’ and even spitted at, Agnihotri saw the volatile and noxious front of the Left ecosystem that had been brainwashing the youth of the country for years. Ironically, these were the same proponents of free speech who were forbidding the showcase of a film fearing that it just might expose the carefully crafted sham the Communists and the Naxals have protected to ensure India grovels in penury and underdevelopment while they utilise these conditions as a crutch to fill their coffers.
Going by how the left ecosystem has always hyperventilated and rampantly shadow banned works that have not minced words on politics, history or nationalism, this was an expected reaction. But then, the time to snap back at the proponents of double standards is here
Though the hold of the Left cabal has subsequently loosened over the consciousness of an audience who are now open to reading unwhitewashed history of the country even as they map the political and sociological changes taking place, the efforts to malign attempts at nationalistic works in cinema continues even after six years. So, while The Kashmir Files took on a vicious gang of sold-out ‘film reviewers’ trying to sabotage the honest work as ‘propaganda’, the most recent target of urban Naxals who basically are trying to hold on to the hypnotic effect they continue to have over a section of the urban audience is R Madhavan’s directorial debut Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, a sensitive and earnest biopic on S Nambi Narayanan, the ISRO rocket scientist whose career was ruined after accusations of espionage marred his meteoric climb in space sciences. While the flimsy reviewers could not criticise the well-received film on the basis of technique, performances and narrative, they tried to malign the engaging pan-Indian drama because the director dared to depict Nambi sir as he actually was: A proud Hindu. Or was it a last ditch attempt to discredit the film lest dirty secrets tumble out of the Congress closet? Secrets that prove how in cahoots with global superpowers, the then political hyenas manoeuvered to impede the growth of Nambi Sir who always kept India ahead in his list of priorities.
The Price for being a Nationalist
The lines blur between reel and real if we deconstruct how the voices emphatically declaring their love and devotion for Bharat have repeatedly been snuffed out or sidelined. The movie very boldly shows how Nambi Sir was dogged in his work that would benefit India massively. In that pursuit, he took some strict decisions regarding his friends, colleagues and family but that only proved how faithful he was to his country. The brilliant scientist had to pay a heavy price for being selfless and patriotic. In the end when he asks, “If I was exonerated, shouldn’t we find out who was behind the conspiracy?” his despondency is just too stinging.
R Madhavan minced no words when he praised PM Narendra Modi’s efforts to digitise India economically while he was screening Rocketry at Cannes earlier this year. As was expected, the actor and director had to court a fair share of slurs for openly declaring how impressed he was with the Prime Minister’s decisions to buttress India’s digital transactions. Lifestyle journalists sucking up to the Lutyens brigade, who had earlier found Maddy cute, were now vitiating their Instagram timelines declaring the popular artist as a ‘Sanghi’ and a ‘Modi bhakt’. While they couldn’t argue logically as to why Madhavan’s remarks were unfounded, they rubbished him just because his beliefs didn’t match theirs. Here was a renowned film personality who wears his Sanatani identity with pride and praising PM Modi on a global forum unlike the deracinated stand-up comedian Vir Das so clearly something surely must be amiss with him, right?
The people who lauded a Shahrukh Khan for establishing that ‘terror has no religion’ through My Name is Khan are getting insecure with Madhavan’s nationalist biopic. Not one word was spoken about how Nambi Sir’s family went through turmoil and the heavy price they had to pay in terms of health and psychological tumult
Just like how wrong Agnihotri was in showing the reality behind the Kashmiri Hindu genocide and exodus of 1990 instead of crafting a distorted narrative such as Shikara, directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, husband of Anupamaa Chopra who was the first one to defame The Kashmir Files as well as Rocketry. Agnihotri has always spoken out against separatists and terrorists funded by Pakistan in his interviews and tours so that Indians understand the root cause of problems not just in Kashmir but in the whole of India. Ensconced amidst her coterie of Bollywood glitterati, who have only presented a one-sided narrative before the audience ever since the industry existed, Chopra perhaps felt insecure when the reality was out after all. A truth her husband’s politically correct film failed to present, despite being a Kashmiri Hindu himself. So, while that was lauded and celebrated just like so many whitewashed films justifying terrorism in Kashmir, Agnihotri’s film was preyed at by the noxious elements who like hiding facts to propel a war of narratives to dismantle the truth.
Making a mockery of Hindu traditions
Even as we focus on Rocketry, there can be no denial that the presentation of Nambi Sir as a practicing Hindu didn’t go down well with the industry insiders who have always depicted Hindus and their traditions in a mocking or derogatory light. For instance, one line from the Kartik Aaryan starring Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is just too obvious. The angry thakursaab of an old haveli in a Rajasthani village hollers to a tensed Ruhaan (Aaryan) that if it is proved that he has lied to the family about the death of their daughter Reet (Kiara Advani) then he will decapitate him for the mistake committed. In a script fraught with random jibes at Hindu religious practices, this aberration seems to stand out even though a jocular ambience is created around the harsh announcement. Why? Because, for any sane mind well versed with dharmic traditions, it’s not easy to digest that the film would show beheading someone is something that Sanatan dharma propagates. A brutal punishment that Sharia law unleashes is shown to be a generic Hindu norm. Just like how the Aghori tradition is shown as a dark, occult practice in the film through problematic, ill-researched scenes.
Rubbishing Hinduism has interestingly been a very Bollywood thing. Actually it extends to all soft powers that permeate o a larger audience of art and aesthetics. From denying Hindu genocide in Kashmir; to celebrating Wendy Doniger, a supposed Indologist, and her book titled The Hindus: An Alternative History, which if anything, shows how distorted her understanding of Hinduism is; to forcibly terming Hitler’s chosen symbol Hakenkreuz as Hindu Swastika; to Jeffrey Kripal portraying Sri Ramakrishna as a paedophile and Swami Vivekananda as a homosexual; to Paul Courtright, in his book Ganesa, mocking Lord Ganesha’s trunk to sexual organ, the insults just don’t seem to end. There are innumerable pages and handles on social media that regularly put up sexual and abusive images of Hindu gods and goddesses knowing very well that there would be no serious repercussions. The latest being Leena Manimekalai’s problematic depiction of Goddess Kali in a film poster as well as Mahua Moitra’s comments about Maa Kali. And to think that these are Hindus themselves!
That clearly makes Chopra’s comments on Rocketry seem clearly driven by a vicious propaganda to rob the buzz off the film. What could possibly be her reason to call the biopic on one of India’s most talented rocket scientists too Hindu centric! Why do the left liberals have a problem if S Nambi Narayanan is shown to be a practicing Hindu doing surya namaskar every morning before going to ISRO, his workplace; for visiting the mandir to pray so that his years of efforts to take India’s space science research forward by leaps and bounds bear fruit; for exclaiming Amme Bhagavathi often, for sporting the vibhuti and most importantly for being a staunch nationalist who always prioritized the success development and growth of Bharat. But, going by how the left ecosystem has always hyperventilated and rampantly shadow banned works that have not minced words on politics, history or nationalism, this was an expected reaction. But then, the time to snap back at the proponents of double standards is here.
Exposing the Hypocrites
India is waking up to the fact that a deep state does exist. And part of that dangerous cult club is the same ecosystem that swears by freedom of speech and creative choices. Yet, they are exposing their spinelessness and hypocrisy as they unnecessarily harp on a brilliant scientist’s religious leanings and not how he was wronged by the then powers-that-be. The people who lauded a Shah Rukh Khan for establishing that ‘terror has no religion’ through My Name is Khan are getting insecure with Madhavan’s nationalist biopic. Not one word was spoken about how Nambi Sir’s family went through turmoil and the heavy price they had to pay in terms of health and psychological tumult. These are patriots who gave their all for the country just like Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan did, as charted in Sashi Kiran Tikka’s film Major, where Adivi Sesh breathed life into the role of the brave soldier. No one dared to point out that actor Suriya didn’t bother to mouth Jai Hind in the last scene of the Tamil version of Rocketry. So ingrained is their resistance towards the country yet critiques find flimsy flaws with the film on grounds of religion. Rather the projection of Hinduism.
Or are they ruffled that the audience just might start asking uncomfortable questions like, “Why wasn’t the death of Vikram Sarabhai and Homi Bhabha probed into?” that will open a can of worms regarding the death and alienation of some of India’s most meritorious space scientists during the rule of the Congress. While the movie thrashes out this through a series of well-researched incidents and experiences, it also reminds us of Tapan Sinha’s Ek Doctor ki Maut based on the life of Dr Subhash Mukhopadhyay, who despite being the pioneer in inventing IVF, was treated with abject disdain by the Congress and the CPIM, forcing him to eventually end his life. While the world credits Dr Robert Edwards for the achievement, erudite circles know that Dr Mukhopadhyay was purposely victimized to ‘allow the west take the credits’. The chronicles of S Nambi Narayanan also reveal a similar conspiracy to
keep India groveling.
Science and Faith
The very premise of detractors questioning Nambi Sir’s upholding his Hindu identity falls flat when we probe into how Western physicists and NASA scientists practicing Christian orthodoxy.
NASA scientists however cannot depend too much on their constrained religion construct that focuses on one Judgment Day. Doing that would disable them to make discoveries by looking beyond considering just a few centuries ago they did think that the Earth was flat, a presumption Sanatanis never had.
Hinduism is essentially rooted in science. Which is why Western scholars such as Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrodinger, Werner Heisenberg and many more did their path breaking research taking teachings from Hinduism, something they have openly admitted. Schrodinger’s Cat theory is quite literally based on the theory of probability, rooted in Hinduism because there is no scope of probability in absolutist Abrahamic faiths. Heisenberg, a key figure in the world of quantum mechanics, is believed to have understood much of quantum mechanisms through his mystical experience in Hindu dharma.
Father of atomic bombs, Julius Robert Oppenheimer was a theoretical physicist who was influenced by the Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata and Indian historical facts. He studied Sanskrit to understand the Bhagavad Gita better. Niels Bohr, known for his tremendous contribution in atomic structure and quantum theory, has openly declared that he ‘goes into the Upanishads to ask questions’. The instances don’t end there. So, if these extremely famous names were not called out for their belief in Sanatani traditions and faith, why does the axe always come down heavily on Indian scholars, scientists, filmmakers and aesthetes who wear their Hindu identity on their sleeves with glistening pride? Why this
abject resistance towards the existence of an alternative narrative?